Survey: Wyoming doctors feeling impact of COVID-19
WYOMING – A survey of Wyoming physicians shows significant disruption of their practices related to novel coronavirus COVID-19, including financial distress.
In addition to financial impacts, Wyoming doctors noted significant concerns with supplies and materials. Eighty-four percent report disruptions in current supply chain or procurement of materials, specifically personal protective equipment. In addition, 86 percent report that they have not been able to identify alternatives for purchasing needed supplies.
The Wyoming Medical Society — in collaboration with the Wyoming Telehealth Network, based at the University of Wyoming — surveyed physicians across the state March 19-April 8 to understand the impact of COVID-19 on primary care practices and providers. Eighty-three doctors responded.
In response to questions about how COVID-19 has affected their practices, providers report that disruption is the current norm, and they are experiencing financial strain that they expect to continue. Some 70 percent of respondents say they’ve seen an increase in cancellations; 46 percent report and anticipate significant administrative interruptions; and 62 percent currently experience or anticipate cash flow issues.
Asked about the state’s response to the pandemic, 49 percent say information from the state to help make informed patient and practice decisions has been at least “adequate” or “very adequate.” Physicians report that Wyoming needs to continue to emphasize the importance of people staying home and maintaining social distancing, and prioritizing testing.
Among Wyoming physicians, telehealth use is on the rise, with 54 percent of respondents reporting that they are using telehealth in their practices and 58 percent reporting that they have encouraged patients to consider telehealth. For providers using or considering using telehealth, they are seeking additional resources and information in several areas, including rapidly changing billing and reimbursement practices; patient access issues; resources on telehealth use and technology; and information on practice policies and procedures.
For more information on the survey results, go to www.uwyo.edu/wind/_files/docs/wytn-doc/survey-infographic.pdf.
The Wyoming Medical Society provides representation, advocacy and service to Wyoming physicians, anticipating and responding swiftly to the rapidly changing health care environment. Learn more at www.wyomed.org.
The Wyoming Telehealth Network serves as a statewide hub, connecting everyone with an interest in telehealth by providing access to telehealth technology, resources and education. The network is a legislatively mandated activity of the Wyoming Telehealth Consortium and is financially supported through the Wyoming Department of Health, Office of Rural Health and the Wyoming Institute for Disabilities in UW’s College of Health Sciences. Learn more at www.wyomingtelehealth.org.